Distracted Driving? There’s an App for That
It may sound odd that now there is a cell phone app to prevent you from using phone apps, but that is exactly what has been developed. The aim of the new app is to improve road safety by decreasing distracted driving accidents.
The new app is called PhoneGuard. This free app shuts down most applications when it detects that the phone is moving more than ten miles per hour and displays a “No Texting Vehicle” message. Incoming calls can be received, but virtually every other function requiring keypad or touch entry is blocked.
Scope of the Problem of Distracted Driving
According to distraction.gov (sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation), roughly one fifth of 2009’s injury crashes involved reports of distracted driving. That’s 5,474 deaths and 448,000 injuries in distracted driving motor vehicle accidents. And sadly, drivers under 20 made up the greatest proportion of distracted driving accidents that involved a fatality.
Studies show that drivers using a handheld device are four times more likely to suffer an injury in a crash. Moreover, talking on the phone (hands-free or not) delays reaction times as much as .08 percent blood alcohol levels,
the drunk driving limit in most states.
The severity of the problem is not in doubt by most members of the public. However, many times, even when people are aware of these frightening statistics, the temptation to answer a text or get one more thing done overwhelms logic and safety. PhoneGuard removes the temptation by making it impossible to do these activities.
Source: The New York Times, App Smart Extra: An App Aimed to Curb Distracted Driving, Bob Tedeschi, 8 August 2011